Monday, 29 June 2015

the hidden disease

type 1 diabetes is so often difficult to explain because there are no physical symptoms. honestly, this makes me really angry sometimes, because if people could SEE it, they would be able to understand. instead, i'm left trying to use words to explain what's going on, and i'm actually not that great a communicator when i am talking face to face with someone.

last week for example, my 7-day average sugar level on my mysgr app (amazing, you should get it, but more on that later) went up to 8.7. now considering that it's usually about 6.1, that's quite unusual for me, and the average indicates that almost every day last week my level went to over 15mmol, and a couple of times was a nightmare to get back down. 

i'm still not totally certain what the problem was. it could have been pre-menstrual insulin resistance (something i'm only just starting to learn is a thing), or it could have been stress, or it could have been some dodgy insulin. whatever the reason, i felt rough.

it all started the previous weekend, with a dodgy set of highs on a weekend visit to London with my husband. i had eaten some stomach-upsetting food, and the level just would not come down, and so i spent four hours in a pub with my husband's friends feeling like i wanted to go to sleep, and take out my contact lenses which we going dry. it would have been difficult to explain that i was finding it difficult to concentrate and focus on the conversation, partially because my brain wasn't going as quick as normal, and partially because i was trying to work out how to get the level down and what had gone wrong that day to make it rollercoaster so badly.

then all week my levels continued to rollercoaster. up and down, up and down. and the thing is, i was eating well and exercising more than normal. when i realised it was becoming a problem i became even more obsessed with how strict i was with myself. and by the thursday when it went up again i got mad. to be honest, i am surprised i went so long staying calm, i usually get mad at the first bad level.

i do only usually get mad when i know i've done something that would have caused it (usually something i've eaten), but this time i couldn't see a reason or logic, and all attempts to figure it out ended in confusion. 

by the friday i was feeling very worse for wear, 'tired' doesn't even begin to cover it. consistent high levels you can feel in your muscles the most. muscles ache, including the heart. the heart ache is scary. you feel lethargic and cloudy. groggy. vision isn't as clear as normal, and thoughts are slow. dehydration you can feel in every cell. negative thought patterns lead to a mild depressive state.

so on friday, when i could start to feel it in my heart, i took action. i spent the day doing slow walking, so that my levels would go back to being consistent but also wouldn't plummet. i walked for 3 and a half hours. and I haven't had a bad level since. 

walking has always been a bit of a fixer for me. it's the thing i feel least like doing, but i know that pushing my muscles even though it will hurt will eventually make them even out. 

i also drank a lot of water that day to help clean my body on the inside, and took a bath to help relax my muscles. 

that day i ate no carbs for lunch and had a very simple and small dinner. that helped too.

i also made sure that i had a friend with me that day, someone to help keep me bright and not wallow in how bad my levels had got, to keep my head from thinking of potential future complications.

to any non-diabetic out there, the best way to explain a high sugar level is to think of the worst hangover you've ever seen depicted on television - you know, the one where the person doesn't want to get out of bed in the morning and can't function - that's a glimpse of how it feels...

anyhow, that's my last week, and now it's the monday after and my average level is down to 6.9 (thanks to another 10miles of walking on saturday, and a 15mile bike ride on sunday) instead of 8.7, and i feel so much better!

i hope you are well and have a beautiful day,
alissa x